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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Industry, Philanthropy, and Universities: The Roles and Influences of the Private Sector in Higher Education

  • Author(s): Vest, Charles M
  • et al.

Charles Vest gave the third of three Clark Kerr Lectures on the Role of Higher Education in Society on September 13, 2005 on the Berkeley campus. In public as well as private universities, resources provided by philanthropic individuals and foundations and by corporate research sponsors increasingly support the margin of university excellence, and increase the access of students to that excellence. The congruence of interests, goals, and expectations of philanthropists and corporate sponsors with those of universities must be carefully considered. The values of excellence and access frequently come into conflict as schools decide how to award student financial aid from gifts and endowments on the basis of merit or on the basis of financial need. Despite such interesting and important challenges, the generosity of individuals and foundations and the support of far-sighted corporations and industry consortia are central to maintaining and enhancing America's outstanding system of higher education.

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